The good thing
First West formed in 2010, but our 'good thing' dates back to 1946
Our brands—Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial—each have decades of history as locally known and trusted co-operatives. They were built through entrepreneurial spirit, seeking to address unique or unmet financial needs in their communities. When we talk about our ‘good thing’, it really represents everything that makes us who we are:
- support programs to help members experiencing financial hardships get back on track
- a unique combination of organizational strength paired with local decision-making and co-operative values to help our business members thrive
- passionate leaders steering this organization forward with an authentic desire to see us succeed
- a drive to help eradicate hunger in our communities
These are just a few examples, but throughout the process of applying to become a federal credit union, we have heard thousands of different good things from you— our members. Since the creation of First West Credit Union in 2010, our collective good thing has only been made stronger, and our journey to become federally regulated is the natural next step to keep our good thing growing.
In fact, part of the reason our credit union was able to navigate the economic conditions resulting from COVID-19 and proactively help our members was because of the preparatory work we’ve been doing to become federally regulated. We built our liquidity, grew our capital, improved our processes and invested in digital technologies, putting us in a strong financial and operational position to withstand the extraordinary challenges of COVID-19.
Our members didn’t have to wait for us to catch up—we were ready when they needed us most.
First West Credit Union forms
On Jan. 1, 2010, the financial assets, membership and operations of Envision Credit Union and Valley First Credit Union are integrated under the First West Credit Union banner.
Members begin benefitting from the Simply Free Account®
Our signature chequing account is made available to members for the first time. With no monthly fee, unlimited day-to-day transactions and unlimited free Interac e-Transfers within Canada, the Simply Free Account® is a stark contrast to the trend seen at other financial institutions at the time.
Enderby & District Financial Joins First West
Through the First West model, Enderby & District Financial retains its local brand identity and community focus. Residents in the North Okanagan begin benefiting from products and services not previously available in their community.
Also this year, Envision Financial launches its signature cause program, The Full Cupboard, and sets a goal to raise $1 million and 100,000 pounds of food by 2023— a goal we surpassed in 2021.
Island Savings Join First West
As the newest divisional brand, Island Savings adds 16 locations across Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands to the First West branch network. More than 2,200 Island Savings members begin benefitting from the Simply Free Account®.
First West hits $10 billion in assets under management
First West Credit Union is celebrating an important milestone with its members, employees and community partners after officially surpassing $10 billion in assets under management.
Doubling in size since first formed in 2010, this milestone secures First West’s standing as the fifth largest credit union in Canada.
As of 2021, First West’s has $15.5 billion in total assets and assets under administration.
First West Foundation launches $600,000 Community Response Fund
As the charitable sector faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, First West Foundation responded by establishing a low-barrier Community Response Fund aimed at helping local charities as quickly as possible. Grants helped these organizations continue delivering programs and services to those most vulnerable in communities served by First West’s divisional brands.
Since First West was founded in 2010, we’ve given back more than $28 million to local charities and causes in our communities.
First West continues to invest in British Columbia
First West Credit Union furthers its commitment to our members and employees by investing millions of dollars into our locations throughout B.C.
- opening of the Kelowna Innovation Centre (2017)
- renovating the Penticton Regional Office (2020)
- opening of the Victoria Innovation Centre (2021)
- opening of the Langley Collaboration Centre (2021)
- significant renovations to several branch locations (Cherry Lane, Penticton Main, Mission, Abbotsford Village)
- major renovations planned at Duncan Regional Office (2022)
These infrastructure investments enable First West and its regional divisions to maximize employee wellness, build team collaboration and support the local economies where we operate while providing employees with the technology, tools and workspaces to better serve our members.
First West asks members to participate in the most important vote in the credit union’s history— a vote to become a federally regulated credit union.
Let's keep a good thing growing for communities
Island Savings, Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial are working together to eliminate hunger across B.C. Together we have raised $4 million and 194,000 pounds of food for food banks in our local communities.
Danya Shima is a passionate food banks volunteer with Envision Financial’s Full Cupboard program. Learn about her story and how Envision Financial and First West enabled her to do more in her local community.